Oct 17, 2019; Stanford, CA, USA; Detailed view of the Pac-12 Conference  logo on the field at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Oregon State president likely out after Les Miles revelations

October 4, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Malik Jackson (97) during halftime against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon State president F. King Alexander has offered to resign, and it’s likely the university’s board of trustees will accept as soon as Tuesday, The Oregonian reported.

Last week, the trustees placed Alexander on probation until June 1 and said he must answer to his Title IX failures while at LSU. The board found that Alexander was aware of allegations against former LSU football coach Les Miles when Alexander took over as president of the Baton Rouge campus in 2013. That includes a formal recommendation that year from then-athletic director Joe Alleva that Miles be fired for misconduct and abuse.

Alexander led LSU through 2019 and became president at Oregon State on July 1, 2020.

In their meeting Tuesday morning, Oregon State board chair Rani Borkar said members have received extensive communication from faculty, students and others, urging them to remove Alexander.

The board had yet to accept his letter of resignation but could as the meeting continues Tuesday. The resignation would be effective April 1.

The Faculty Senate has voted 108-4 in favor of a motion to call for Alexander to resign, The Oregonian reported Tuesday. The Senate referred the issue to the faculty for a vote, with 83 percent calling for Alexander’s resignation.

The trustees placed Alexander on probation after reviewing an independent report from the law firm Husch Blackwell that detailed systemic failures by LSU to appropriately report incidents involving athletes and sports programs facing accusations of sexual misconduct and abuse. The report included Alleva’s email to Alexander, which stated he believed LSU had cause to fire Miles, adding: “I want us to think about which scenario is worse for LSU. Explaining why we let him go or explaining why we let him stay.”

Details of the report were discussed openly at the Oregon State board meeting last Wednesday. Alexander faced criticism from 19 members of the public who gave the board of trustees testimony.

He issued a video apology.

“I understand that the power of my position requires more from me to do everything I can to ensure the university is free from sexual violence and violence in all forms,” he said in the video. “I know that there was more I could have done at LSU given the power of my office and the expectation of community members. As university president, I should have sought every opportunity to hold others accountable. I stand with and support survivors of all forms of sexual violence and affirm the work of our advocates. As your president, I assure you I will work to rebuild trust.”

LSU fired Miles four games into the 2016 season, and he most recently was the coach at Kansas. Earlier this month, Kansas parted ways with him after allegations surfaced that Miles made sexual advances toward female students at LSU and also made comments about women in the athletic department that were sexist or insulting.

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2020; Waco, Texas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks head coach Les Miles during the game between the Bears and the Jayhawks at McLane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Report: AD at LSU recommended firing Les Miles in 2013

The former athletic director at LSU recommended the firing of coach Les Miles in 2013 — three years before he was dismissed — because of allegations of sexual advances on female students and comments about women in the athletic department that were sexist or insulting.

That information was included in the report of an investigation conducted by the outside law firm of Husch Blackwell, which was charged with reviewing how the university handled allegations of sexual misconduct in the athletic department. The reported was released Friday, with USA Today and ESPN publishing portions of it.

Husch Blackwell wasn’t hired to determine the guilt or innocence of Miles but rather to determine if LSU responded properly to reports of incidents involving the coach and female students working in the department.

“The issue is whether the University responded to this report against [Les Miles] in a manner consistent with then-existing legal guidance, well-recognized best practices, and institutional policy. The answer is ‘no,’ ” the investigation concluded.

Miles, 67, was the coach at LSU from 2005 until he was fired four games into the 2016 season, when the Tigers got off to a 2-2 start. LSU won the national championship in 2007 and was runner-up in 2011.

Miles is now the coach at Kansas, which has not yet commented on the most recent report. A school spokesman previously said Kansas officials weren’t aware of any of the sexual misconduct allegations when he was hired prior to the 2019 season.

Miles has denied all allegations of misconduct. His attorney, Peter Ginsberg, declined to comment to ESPN on Friday.

Witnesses cited in the report said Miles took part in interviewing young women who applied for jobs with the team beginning in 2012 and wanted them to be pretty, blonde and with certain physical attributes.

A separate report released Thursday included allegations of Miles sending text messages to young women, taking them to his condominium and making them feel uncomfortable in general. In one case, he is reported to have kissed a student and offered to take her to a hotel, all while telling her that he could assist her in her career.

Sharon Lewis, who worked as the director of recruiting, is quoted in the latest report as saying she reported “significant alleged misconduct” by Miles that took place beginning in 2009 and lasted until his departure. The Husch Blackwell report said her allegations were not properly investigated by the university.

Lewis recounted how a female student worker came to her “completely traumatized” about something that happened to her when she and Miles were alone. Lewis said the student repeatedly said, “You know what you did to me.”

At least two other young women came forward with their allegations, and a previous investigation in 2013 concluded Miles should be reprimanded but that his conduct did not rise to the level of sexual misconduct. The Husch Blackwell report disagreed.

Former athletic director Joe Alleva recommended Miles’ dismissal to F. King Alexander, then the incoming president of LSU, and the school’s legal team shortly after.

“I want us to think about which scenario is worse for LSU. Explaining why we let him go or explaining why we let him stay,” Alleva wrote in an email, which was included in the report released Friday. “I believe he is guilty of insubordination, inappropriate behavior, putting the university, athletic dept and football program at great risk. I think we have cause. I specifically told him not to text, call or be alone with any student workers and he obviously didn’t listen. I know there are many possible outcomes and much risk either way, but I believe it is in the best interest in the long run to make a break.”

Instead, Miles received a written reprimand, a requirement for counseling and a written order not to have contact with female student employees in person, on the phone or via text.

The report said LSU did not have appropriate staffing or resources in its Title IX office to investigate complaints. Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in a school’s educational programs and other activities.

LSU interim president Tom Galligan Jr. vowed quick action on Friday, saying he plans to enact “every one of those 18 recommendations” that Husch Blackwell included in its report, per ESPN.

“We as an institution failed to live up to our commitments,” he said. “We let some of those who were depending on us down. It is clear our institution as a whole deserves blame. This is an example of serious institutional failure, but people also made mistakes we cannot ignore. That cannot and must not go unaddressed.”

Last week, The Advocate reported Miles had settled with at least one woman who accused him of sexual harassment. Reached then by the local newspaper, Miles said, “That’s not true.”

USA Today’s reporting on sexual misconduct within the athletic department at LSU caused the university to contract with Husch Blackwell to audit roughly 60 sexual misconduct cases from 2016 to 2018.

Miles had a 114-34 record at LSU. He is 3-18 at Kansas.

–Field Level Media

Sep 12, 2020; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks head coach Les Miles is interviewed before a game against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Les Miles hosted female students at LSU-area condo

LSU was so concerned by the behavior of former football coach Les Miles when it came to female students that it reprimanded him, ordered him to stop being alone with them and told him to no longer hire the young women to babysit his children, USA Today reported Thursday.

The newspaper said the findings are included in a 2013 internal investigative report released by LSU on Thursday — a report it sued the university to get.

The document includes allegations of Miles sending text messages to the young women, taking them to his condominium and making them feel uncomfortable in general. In one case, he is reported to have kissed a student and offered to take her to a hotel, all while telling her that he could assist her in her career.

Miles denies the allegations, his attorney, Peter Ginsberg, said.

The investigation didn’t uncover a sexual relationship with any of the women. For his part, Miles said he was serving as a mentor to the students.

Last week, The Advocate reported Miles had settled with at least one woman who accused him of sexual harassment. Reached then by the local newspaper, Miles said, “That’s not true.”

USA Today’s reporting on sexual misconduct within the athletic department at LSU caused the university to contract with outside law firm Husch Blackwell to audit roughly 60 sexual misconduct cases from 2016 to 2018.

Findings of the investigation are expected to be released on Friday.

Miles, 67, is now the head coach at Kansas, where he has a 3-18 record in two seasons with the Jayhawks.

Kansas officials didn’t immediately comment on Thursday’s report but issued this statement on Feb. 24.

“The University of Kansas is aware of a media report today involving KU head football coach Les Miles. We have spoken with Coach Miles about the allegations in the story and will continue to gather information that is made available to us. KU was not aware of these allegations when Coach Miles was hired in 2018. Because this involves Coach Miles’ former employer and pre-dates his time at KU, and because we do not have factual knowledge about details of these allegations, it is not appropriate for us to comment further.”

He was 114-34 in 11-plus seasons at LSU. His team won the BCS national championship in 2007 and was the national runner-up in 2011. He won 10 or more games on seven occasions with the Tigers.

His last 10-win season occurred in 2013.

Miles was 19-10 over his final two-plus seasons and was fired after a 2-2 start in 2016. He coached at Oklahoma State prior to LSU.

He is one of only six active coaches to have won an NCAA championship, joining Nick Saban, Dabo Swinney, Jimbo Fisher, Mack Brown and Ed Orgeron.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2020; Columbia, Missouri, USA; LSU Tigers tight end Arik Gilbert (2) runs against the Missouri Tigers during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

TE Arik Gilbert decommits from Florida, enters transfer portal again

Feb 7, 2020; Tampa, FL, USA;  General view of the NFL Shield logo on the field before Super Bowl LV between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tight end Arik Gilbert said he is heading to the transfer portal again instead of the University of Florida after telling the school on Jan. 31 he was going to be Gator.

“I have decided to decommit from the university of Florida and re-enter the portal,” Gilbert tweeted. “I will not be announcing my final decision until I am enrolled into school and on campus.”

The 6-foot-5, 249-pound Gilbert, who was one of the most sought-after recruits in the 2020 cycle, played for LSU last season. But he decided to opt out of the season on Dec. 9 after posting 368 yards and two touchdowns on 35 receptions in eight games.

LSU coach Ed Orgeron said he hoped Gilbert would return to the team. Instead, he never played another down for the Tigers and ultimately entered the transfer portal, reopening his recruiting.

Gilbert, a five-star recruit ranked No. 5 nationally according to 247Sports in 2020, was expected to replace Kyle Pitts in Gainesville. The Gators’ standout tight end, who led the team in receiving touchdowns (12) last season, is expected to be among the first players taken in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Gators signed tight ends Gage Wilcox (four star) and Nick Elksnis (three star) in their 2021 recruiting class and also return Kemore Gamble, Keon Zipperer and Jonathan Odom from last year’s squad.

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2020; Waco, Texas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks head coach Les Miles during the game between the Bears and the Jayhawks at McLane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Les Miles paid to settle sexual harassment case

Former LSU coach Les Miles reportedly was investigated for sexual harassment of student workers early last decade and reached a settlement with at least one of the women, according to multiple reports on Wednesday.

According to The Advocate, the settlement doesn’t show up in court records in Baton Rouge, La., and emerged amid a investigation into how LSU has handled allegations of sexual misconduct.

USA Today sued LSU in January for copies of the Miles investigation report after the university refused to release it. A judge ordered that it remain sealed until March 30, when a trial to hear Miles and LSU’s objections will be heard.

LSU also has retained the outside law firm Husch Blackwell to audit roughly 60 sexual misconduct cases from 2016 to 2018.

The investigation involving Miles reportedly occurred in 2013, three years before he was fired by the school after the football program’s fortunes dropped significantly from the established level earlier in Miles’ tenure.

The Advocate reached Miles on Wednesday, and he denied he made sexual advances toward a student intern.

“That’s not true,” Miles said.

Miles declined to answer questions about the reported settlement.

Miles, 67, is now the head coach at Kansas, where he has a 3-18 record in two seasons with the Jayhawks.

He was 114-34 in 11-plus seasons at LSU. His team won the BCS national championship in 2007 and was the national runner-up in 2011. He won 10 or more games on seven occasions with the Tigers.

His last 10-win season occurred in 2013.

Miles was 19-10 over his final two-plus seasons and was fired after a 2-2 start in 2016. He coached at Oklahoma State prior to LSU.

LSU spokesman Jim Sabourin released the following statement to USA Today: “We are not in a position to comment on these allegations, as there is currently a court order prohibiting the disclosure of any related information.”

Kansas officials told USA Today that the school didn’t know about the allegations when Miles was hired. The school said it spoke to Miles and is gathering more information.

“Because this involves Coach Miles’ former employer and pre-dates his time at KU, and because we do not have factual knowledge about details of these allegations, it is not appropriate for us to comment further,” spokesman Dan Beckler said.

–Field Level Media

Jan 1, 2021; New Orleans, LA, USA; Clemson Tigers linebacker Mike Jones Jr. (6) intercepts a pass intended for Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Chris Olave (2) during the third quarter at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Russell Costanza-USA TODAY Sports

LB Mike Jones Jr. transfers from Clemson to LSU

Former Clemson linebacker Mike Jones Jr. announced Wednesday that he has transferred to LSU.

Jones posted a picture of himself in an LSU uniform on Twitter while announcing his intentions.

“Make your next move your best move ! @LSUfootball” Jones wrote.

Jones made 30 tackles (four for losses) and had two interceptions and one forced fumble in 10 games (seven starts) for Clemson last season. He had 19 tackles (four for losses) and a forced fumble in 15 games in 2019 as a redshirt freshman.

Jones entered the transfer portal following the 2020 season.

–Field Level Media

Jan 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban celebrates after defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama closes National Signing Day with record-setting class

National champion Alabama regained the title of No. 1 football recruiting class on National Signing Day on Wednesday, topping Ohio State.

The Crimson Tide have had the top-rated class in the nation in three of the past five years, according to national recruiting service 247Sports. The crown has been in Tuscaloosa in the odd-numbered years, with Georgia taking the title in 2018 and ‘20.

The bulk of the players nationally were signed in the early signing period in late December, with a few top players left to announce their choices on Wednesday.

The 247Sports Composite Team Rankings give a score to each team’s class, and Alabama set a record with a 327.91 score, besting the record of 324.67, set in 2010 by Urban Meyer’s Florida Gators.

Alabama cemented the record with the signing of a pair of blue-chip prospects on Wednesday: Camar Wheaton of Garland, Texas, a five-star signee who is ranked as the No. 2 running back in the nation, and four-star safety Terrion Arnold of Tallahassee, Fla. Arnold is the No. 3-ranked player at his position, per the 247Sports composite.

“We’re obviously very excited to have two additional guys to add to the class of people who signed in December,” Saban said.

In all, his class consists of 27 commits, including seven five-star prospects. Arnold and cornerback Ga’Quincy McKinstry, who signed in December, both are expected to play basketball for Alabama, too.

“We don’t have an issue with guys playing other sports,” Saban said, adding he and basketball coach Nate Oats “have a good idea of how we’re going to do it.”

Following Alabama in the ranking were perennial powers Ohio State (309.49 points), Georgia (294.55), LSU (291.37) and Clemson (291.20).

Ohio State’s class didn’t add any signees on Wednesday, but coach Ryan Day undoubtedly will be satisfied with the 21 commits — including five, five-star prospects — already signed.

The biggest signings of the day, other than from Alabama, came in the next group of five teams.

No. 6 Oregon inked Avante Dickerson of Omaha, Neb., the No. 8-ranked cornerback in the nation. He’s one of 19 four-star recruits for the Ducks, who finished No. 11 in the team rankings in 2020.

No. 7 Texas A&M added the nation’s No. 4 running back, LJ Johnson of Cypress, Texas. No. 8 Southern California picked up Raesjon Davis, the fourth-ranked outside linebacker in the country from area powerhouse Mater Dei.

Notre Dame finished in the No. 9 spot after falling to No. 18 in the Class of 2020.

Michigan, which signed coach Jim Harbaugh to a contract extension last month, closed out signing day with the No. 10 class after flipping a pair of players previously committed to other programs.

The Wolverines convinced Rayshaun Benny, a four-star in-state defensive tackle, to decommit from Michigan State. They also signed defensive tackle Ikechukwu Iwunnah from Garland, Texas, who initially committed to Colorado.

The other significant signing of the day belonged to Ole Miss, which inked Tywone Malone of New Jersey, the nation’s sixth-ranked defensive tackle. Coach Lane Kiffin’s Rebels finished with the No. 18 class in the country, up from No. 34 in 2020.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2020; Columbia, Missouri, USA; LSU Tigers tight end Arik Gilbert (2) runs against the Missouri Tigers during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Former LSU TE Arik Gilbert transfers to SEC rival Florida

Former LSU tight end Arik Gilbert announced Sunday that he intends to transfer to Florida.

Gilbert will join a vaunted rival in the Southeastern Conference after spending one season with the Tigers. He had 35 catches for 368 yards and two touchdowns in eight games before opting out of the remainder of the season in early December.

At Florida, Gilbert could help replace tight end Kyle Pitts, who will enter the NFL draft. Pitts had 770 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns last season in the Gators’ highly touted offense.

The Gators have been busy this offseason, adding former Clemson running back Demarkcus Bowman via the transfer portal earlier in January.

–Field Level Media

Sep 22, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Carolina Panthers running backs coach Jake Peetz against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

LSU names Jake Peetz offensive coordinator

LSU hired Carolina Panthers quarterbacks coach Jake Peetz as its new offensive coordinator Wednesday.

Peetz, 37, replaces Steve Ensminger on head coach Ed Orgeron’s staff.

Ensminger, 62, had been a Tigers assistant since 2010 and spent the past three seasons as offensive coordinator before announcing his retirement in December.

Peetz worked with former LSU passing game coordinator Joe Brady, now Carolina’s offensive coordinator, in 2020. Peetz was the Panthers’ running backs coach in 2019 before working with the QBs this season.

Before Joining the Panthers, Peetz was an offensive analyst at Alabama in 2018 and coached in various roles with the then-Oakland Raiders from 2015-17. He also spent time in the NFL with Washington and Jacksonville, and as an assistant coach at UCLA.

LSU also hired Panthers assistant DJ Mangas as the new passing game coordinator, relacing Scott Linehan. Mangas previously was an offensive analyst with the Tigers in 2019.

“Both Jake and DJ come highly recommended from one of the premier and innovative offensive coaches in the game in Joe Brady,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said in a news release. “Jake brings 10 years of NFL experience with him to our staff. He spent a season coaching alongside and learning from Joe (Brady) so we couldn’t be more excited about Jake joining our staff. His knowledge of football combined with the players we have on our roster, will make for a dynamic offense for LSU in 2021.

“We are very happy to bring DJ back to LSU. He did a tremendous job in his one season with us in 2019 working alongside Joe (Brady) to produce one of the most explosive and productive offenses in college football history.”

Peetz and Mangas were in Baton Rouge for interviews on Tuesday.

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2020; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers tight end Arik Gilbert (2) is tacled by Mississippi State Bulldogs safety Fred Peters (38) during the second half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

LSU tight end Gilbert to transfer

LSU tight end Arik Gilbert, a five-star recruit in the Class of 2020, said Saturday he will transfer from the school.

He made the announcement on Twitter, then deleted it.

His potential departure from Baton Rouge has been rumored over the past few weeks, with Gilbert, who is from Georgia, reportedly homesick.

Gilbert was the No. 1 tight end and the No. 5 player overall in the 2020 class, per the 247Sports composite. In July, he was named the 2020 Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year.

For the Tigers, Gilbert had 35 catches for 368 yards and two touchdowns. On Dec. 9, he opted out of the rest of the season, missing games against Florida and Ole Miss.

“He said his body was hurt and there were some things he had to take care of,” coach Ed Orgeron said last month. “Do I think we have a chance at getting him back next season? Yeah.”

As a high school player in Marietta, Ga., the 6-foot-5 Gilbert had scholarship offers from many of the nation’s top programs, including Alabama and Georgia.

–Field Level Media